This time last year the Cowboys were relying on guys like Jay Ratliff, Anthony Spencer and DeMarcus Ware to help them transition to the 4-3 scheme they were implementing. As it turns out none of them made an impact at all and it doomed the defense from day 1. Dallas was forced to scavage the streets to find their help and they were never able to field the unit that they envisioned.
This year is a different story. Dallas is ready for the worst and not just on the d-line either, the offensive line is loaded even more-so with talent. If the Cowboys have the luxury of having Mackenzy Bernadeau - who, by the way played pretty well last year – as a back-up, well that is definitely a good deal. They have a good young offensive line and it has the potential to be great.
On the defensive line, the Cowboys have a ton of more depth than last year. Instead of relying on Anthony Spencer this year, he could end up being a bonus. There is versatility in guys like Tyrone Crawford and Terrell McClain. There are also guys that have something to prove in Henry Melton and George Selvie, both of these guys can earn quite a bit of money by being productive this year. Starters from last year like Nick Hayden will now be used in a rotation, they will be fresher and there will not be as much pressure to man the fort.
Dallas is much better prepared for injury on the d-line this year. Add to the mix that rookie DeMarcus Lawrence will more than likely exceed DeMarcus Ware’s production from last year and the unit should be much improved. Younger and faster beats older and slower any ol day of the week.
The most important thing for the Cowboys to get right in training camp is who to throw in at the “Mike” position. It was much better to have lost Sean Lee early on as opposed to a week before kick off. This staff has to find the right mix of linebackers, that will be the key for this defense. Here is hoping that they go young, at least they have a few options, where as last year they really didn’t.
The Cowboys have been diligent in improving both lines and although, they are better on the offensive side, I expect big things from the d-line as well. With improvement up-front, the back-end will look 10 times better. There are still a ton of questions that need to be answered, that’s what training camp is for, but one thing is for sure, the Cowboys have a lot more depth up-front.
P.S. letting go of Ware and Hatcher were the right moves to make!
Tags: Dallas Cowboys